Weekend Fun: Lessons in Feel Good Living From My Cats

I’ve read that people with pets have lower stress levels. Maybe it’s because pets (in my case, my cats, affectionately known as “the boys”) seem to know a thing or two about living a good life.

I thought I’d share a thing or two about how my boys experience Feel Good Living.  

Make time for silence. A little quiet time is good for the mind, body and soul.  It relieves stress, improves focus, productivity, creativity and is all around good for your health. (In this photo: One morning during my meditation my boys decided to join me. I broke my focus and snapped this photo of them on my lap. Then we sat in silence for the remaining time.)

Ask for What You Want. Every morning my boy Bobby asks for breakfast, and he’s not shy about it. Take a listen (opens in iTunes).  Bobby asking for breakfast. Clear, confident communication works. (Bobby always gets his breakfast!)

Take a Nap. A quick 15 minute cat nap is sometimes just what I need to get my energy and creative juices flowing.  I even know folks who find a spot to nap at work! (In these photos: if they’re tired, my boys will pretty much nap anywhere…though I wish they would stop choosing the kitchen table.  Bobby is on the left, Habibi on the right)

Bobby taking a napBibi Taking a Nap

Find time for play! Play nice, and play often (my cats play often, not always nice)…do you find time for play in your day?

Snuggle with Someone You Love. Or at least spending time live and in person with someone you care about is a great way to feel connected.

Bob and Bibi Snuggle

Leave Your Mark on the World. Live with purpose and passion and people will remember how you made them feel (hopefully good! My Habibi likes to leave his mark all around the house)

Bibi

Challenge the status quo. Tired of the same old, same old? Maybe it’s time to switch it up! Challenge the rules and beliefs you live by and see what happens.  (Rules in my house: No cats on the counters. Then I found Bobby relaxing by the kitchen sink. He hasn’t done it again. Sometimes challenging the rules doesn’t work for the long term, but it’s worth a shot, right?)

What about you? Do you have pets? What lessons have you learned from them?

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13 Comments:

  • http://evolvingwellness.com Evita

    Hi Stacey

    Aw, they are soooo cute! Love the lessons…hmmm how true that we could so use so much of that daily.

    As for me, I don’t have any pets, however I love all animals. We never got any pets mostly for reasons that we travel and such, so leaving them with someone would always have been an issue. But we love enjoying other people’s pets. And as luck would have it, the place where we are renting now has 2 cats and 2 dogs. The cats are adorable and what I have learned from them is go after what you want and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks 😉

  • http://www.jungleoflife.com/ Lance

    You have a noisy cat!!!!

    Love the pictures! (especially the shot on the kitchen table!)

    Pets can be a great source of fun and joy in our lives! And – I see that very much in these furry critters – for you!

    So, we have a cat (Rufus). He’s super friendly (although…why does he bite me AND purr at the same time…I haven’t figured out that life lesson yet!!!), and pretty quiet. Back to the question though: I’ve learned, from Rufus, that I can eat without silverware (wait…scratch that…that’s probably not a good life lesson I picked up from him…). Okay. It’s good to run and play and have some fun!! And then…it’s good to take a nap after all of that!

  • http://www.positiveletters.com Hilary

    Hi Stacey – it’s a cats life .. I’ve always thought that! Independent, do what they want, but they love you too ..

    Love your pictures .. I don’t have animals .. we had cats as children, and I had a dog when I was married — but being single I don’t have any .. so I can get up and go, which I’ve always done -so putting them into kennels regularly would be unfair, and I don’t have space for an animal & I believe they need their freedom too .. your cats look so contented a la Shipman house! Enjoy the cuddles today .. Hilary

  • http://staceyshipman.com Stacey Shipman

    Hi Evita! thank you – we do love our boys. We are lucky that our neighbors love them, too and when we travel they are well taken care of – in their own home!

    Hi Lance – I know! the squeaky wheel, as they say, and Bobby gets pretty much whatever he wants! The biting/purring thing, ours do that, too, it’s all good! :-)

    Hi Hilary – Thank you! Cats do have a great life, for the reasons you say. And yes, they have it pretty good here at the Shipman residence! Enjoy your weekend!

  • Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord

    That’s so cute & great! You had me the minute you mentioned “cats.” I used to have a cat, and the thing she taught me was unconditional love. When I was feeling my worst, she’d cuddle up next to me and rest her head near my head, start purring, and fall asleep. She’d stay with me like that until I got up and moved. She was always there… Always. (And actually, my mom got her for me when my dad left, so having her be “always there” was probably something I manifested at the time, come to think of it!)
    Thanks, Stacey!

  • http://www.purposepowercoaching.com Chris Edgar

    Having a black rubber ball to chew on is a stress relief technique I’ve never considered — I’ll have to go down to the pet store and try it out. :)

  • http://staceyshipman.com Stacey Shipman

    Megan – Cats are love bugs, they remind me that “everything is ok”. Thanks for stopping by!

    Chris – let me know how the black rubber ball works out for you…. :-)

  • http://www.dirtydeedscheap.com Janet LaBerge

    Good observations from your cats. Animals always teach us the best lessons because they are usually basic, simple lessons like: be where you are, jump out and scare your people just for fun, sleep when you feel like it, eat when you’re hungry, don’t use your claws unless needed, always greet your people when they come home with a wagging tail or a rub against their leg.

  • http://www.workhappynow.com Karl Staib – Work Happy Now

    It’s amazing how much we can learn from out pets. They seem to have a more instinctual ability to enjoy the every day life. They aren’t striving for more money or happiness. They live in the now.

    I loved the video of the cats playing. I can see that you enjoyed the break as well.

    The most valuable lesson that I’ve learned from my dog is to take a walk every single day. I never walked about the neighborhood every day until I got my dog. Now it’s my greatest stress reliever, idea generator, and me-time that I need every day.

  • http://staceyshipman.com Stacey Shipman

    Janet – Cats/pets have a simple life. I love it!

    Karl – That’s why Michael wants a dog…no more excuses not to take a walk. Plus, he loves dogs!

  • http://www.watchall.com Judy

    Stacey:

    Such words of wisdom! The boys are adorable and I’m still confident that you and Michael will have a dog sometime soon! I’m convinced that my mom, who is a breast cancer survivor and happens to live with us, is much less stressed because of our two dogs, Lakota and Spirit. We also do so much walking and hking with them, I can’t imagine life without them! There’s something to be said about owning a pet, they love unconditionally and two pets are better than one in my opinion!

    • http://staceyshipman.com Stacey Shipman

      Judy – I couldn’t agree more. There is research that states pet owners are less stressed!

  • http://catdog2007@comcast.net susan

    My cat is currently sleeping on a pizza box and quite happy. Working with animals can be very centering, concentrating on communicating with your dog can just slow things down enough.

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